After a great deal of thinking I finally got a TLR in my kit. A Mamiya C3, and Mamiya-Sekor 80mm f/2.8 from a thrift shop in Mumbai. The camera had to undergo a good amount of servicing since there was a problem with the film advancing mechanism. After it had been serviced it was time to test it out. For the test, I used a roll of Fujicolor Reala 100, that expired in 1999. This was my first time using this film and was eager to see the results.
Post-4pm, there’s beautiful dappled sunlight that creeps into my office front, lighting up the few blooming flowers I have. I decided to use the flowers as my subject, therefore this way, I would get to test the Macro capabilities of the 80mm lens.
The flowers were situated at a height – using a ladder, I was able to position myself as close to the flowers as possible for some really tight macro shots. Initially, I found it difficult to compose without a tripod, because I had to focus on balancing myself and at the same time frame the shot with a waist-level finder. It took me a good amount of time; however, I was able to finalize on a composition.
What I saw through the viewfinder, was simply stunning! The macro capabilities of the lens are outstanding. After adjusting my settings, taking into consideration the 20-year expiry of the film, I started shooting the planters and bloomers. I wanted to test the capabilities of the film, so I shot some frames where the sun is lighting up the flowers, a few against sunlight, and few with light leaks to check the capabilities of the lens as well.
Now I had to just wait and see how the images would turn out. Considering, I had already overexposed the film by 2-stops, I decided not push it while processing.
I loved what the camera and its lens could achieve. I was initially a bit sceptical about how the expired film would behave, but apart from the additional grains, I am very happy with the results!
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This series is being produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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